Float!: Building on Water to Combat Urban Congestion and Climate Change


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Float! Building on Water to Combat Urban Congestion and Climate Change proposes a new way of building: on water instead of on land.

Although the concept may seem revolutionary, it is an obvious solution to overcrowded metropolises. The majority of world cities are situated on the water and have too little space where it’s most needed: in the city centre. Building on water allows inner-city areas to expand.

Floating buildings have many advantages. They are both flexible and mobile. A buoyant structure can be moved to make space for a new building, decreasing the need for the demolition of development that still has a productive economic future. Floating buildings outwit changing water levels by rising and falling with the tide and, in doing so, promote a more responsible water management. They leave no scars on their sites, permitting planners to actively meet the demands of the moment.

It’s up to the architects of the climate-change generation to respond to the world’s spatial needs with smart, sustainable proposals. Float! Will help them do just that.


  • Includes extensive drawings, renderings and photography
  • Produced in collaboration with one of the leading architecture firms in this area: Waterstudio.NL
  • Informs architects of the countless building possibilities that water areas offer
  • Touches upon the subject of current climatic uncertainties

Publication Details

  • Released 2010
  • Frame Publishers
  • Edited by Koen Olthuis and David Keuning
  • English
  • 304 pages / full colour / hardcover with dust jacket
  • 170 x 240 mm
  • ISBN 978-90-77174-29-6
  • €49.90 (excluding shipping costs)


  • FLOAT! is a beautiful volume that explores the world of floating architecture through historic, current, and future developments as well as the technologies behind them. Eye-catching images, bright neon typography and a well-written narrative all make this a book you will want to have in your collection.’ – Koen Olthuis, Waterstudio (the Netherlands)  
  • ‘How to stop worrying and love the urban impact of climate change: a color-saturated exploration of buildings on and near water, from an architect in the Netherlands who specializes in floating structures.’ – San Francisco Chronicle
  • ‘A remarkably stimulating read, Float! falls somewhere between design textbook, aquatic manifesto, and environmental exhortation to explore architecture's offshore future. Water-based urban redesign; public transportation over aquatic roadways; floating barge-farms (as well as floating prisons); maneuverable bridges; entire artificial archipelagoes: none of these are new ideas, but seeing them all in one place, in a crisply designed hardback, is an undeniable pleasure.’ -  bdlgblog.com
  • Named as one best Science Books of 2010 by John Dupuis.

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Tags (3) Architecture, Book, Urbanism

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